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History and Geography
Scranton and Its Vicinity
Hollister's History of the Lackawanna Valley
Craft's History of the Lackawanna Valley
Murphy's History of Lackawanna County
DR. H. ELIZABETH WILLIAMS
Supervisor of Intermediate Grades
Terrence F. Gallagher, Sr., Art Supervisor
Richard F. McNichols, Superintendent
Scranton Public Schools
Scranton is a city which is more than 100 years old.
Scranton is located in the north central part of Lacka-
wanna County. It lies on both banks of the Lacka-
wanna River, a small stream which arises in New York
State and empties into the Susquehanna, nine miles
below the city.
Lackawanna County is in the northeastern section
of Pennsylvania, It has a close tie historically with
Luzerne County for it was once a part of it. The
counties also were originally part of both the Pennsyl-
vania and the Connecticut Charters. Active settlement
in the Lackawanna Valley did not take place until after
the Revolutionary War.
PART I— HISTORY OF SCRANTON
Early Settlements in Lackawanna and Wyoming Valleys
Before 1650 the Puritans, Pilgrims and Dutch had come to
settle the new land of America. As late as 1750 in the Lacka-
wanna and Wyoming Valleys, which lay but forty miles west of the
Delaware, no white man had set foot. The Lackawanna Valley
varies between four and six miles in width and is thirty-five miles
in length. The river from which it takes its name flows into the
Susquehanna. The Susquehanna River forms the Wyoming
These valleys were part of the trail between the southern
Indian tribes and the headquarters of the powerful Six Nations at
Conondaga in New York state (now Syracuse). The Six Nations,
made up of the Mohawks, Senecas, Onondagas, Oneidas, Cayugas
and the Tuscaroras, had conquered all the Indians in the territory
lying between the Great Lakes and the Hudson River and made
tribes from as far away as the Florida Everglades pay money to
them. When payment was refused the Six Nations punished
them. Among those conquered by the Six Nations were the Dela-
ware Indians who lived along the Delaware River.
When the Quaker settlement at Philadelphia needed more
room, William Penn bought the land on both sides of the Dela-
ware River from the Delaware Indians. The Monseys, a branch
of the Delawares, moved westward over the Warrior's Path and
settled on the banks of the Lackawanna, ten miles north of its
mouth. The settlement was called Capoose's Meadow or
Capoose's Village. They came before 1700 and some were here
when the first white explorer entered the valley in 1754. The
tawny cabin dwellers were nomadic in that they went north from
Capoose to Wyalusing and other points along the Susquehanna,
but they had cabins here at Capoose for winter dwelling and wig-
wams for summer. This was their home point, and with good
reason. The rich silt from the river made fertile soil for their
gardens of corn, onions, cantaloupes and beans. In the river, with
hooks made of bone, they could catch perch, pike, shad and trout.
In the woods nearby, with stone-tipped spears, they could catch
pheasants, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, moose, elk, deer, beaver and
muskrat for meat. Panthers, bears and otters gave additional
skins for clothing.
These Indians were a temperate people, eating only as they
were hungry, having no set meal time. Their habits were peaceful.
They were governed by Capoose. The village lay in back of what
is now Weston Field. Notes were posted in Indian sign language
on a huge apple tree that stood just on the present site of the
Scranton Transit car barn. The spot is now marked by a memorial.
Settlements by Susquehanna Company
In 1742, the remaining tribes of the Delawares, who had not
moved when they had sold their land to the Whites, were forced
by the Six Nations to abandon their lands along the Delaware and
move to the Wyoming Valley. The Six Nations had a treaty with
Penn and upon being informed that the Delawares had not only
sold the land, (which being a conquered tribe, they had no right
to do), but had then refused to vacate it, they roundly punished
the Delawares and forced them to keep their agreement. The
power of the Six Nations can be realized when, at their word, the
Delawares vacated the land and moved to the point where the Six
Nations decided they should live. The new Delaware settlement
was on the Susquehanna at what is now the flats below Wilkes-
Barre, some twenty miles from Capoose's Village.
In 1754, hunters who had wandered to the Susquehanna
Valley, went back to Hartford to their homes in Connecticut and
told the neighbors of the beautiful valley over the mountains. The
hunters were quick to recognize that wherever they would search,
they could find none more beautiful. They told of the broad fertile
plains, the hunting and fishing opportunities, the beautiful lakes
and rapidly running streams with their sparkling falls. These
stories so interested the people that they formed a group called the
Susquehanna Company, which sent out commissioners to explore
the territory and establish friendly relations with the Indians who
Conflict Between Pennsylvania Proprietors and the Susquehanna
News of these actions on the part of the Susquehanna Com-
pany came to the ears of the Governor of Pennsylvania and he
immediately sent a commission to the Six Nations to buy the lands
in the valley from them. (The charters of Pennsylvania and Con-
necticut conflicted over the land from the 41° to the 42° parallel
of latitude. The Lackawanna and Wyoming Valleys lie between
the 41° and 42° parallels of latitude. The king had stated in the
charter that, in order that as little trouble as possible arise with
the Indians, the settlers should pay the Indians for the land.
Possession, of course, was very important in ownership. The Six
Nations refused to sell either to the Pennsylvanians or to the Sus-
quehanna Company of Connecticut because they had already
given the land to their own tribes, the Delawares and Shawnees.
The Susquehanna Company decided to claim the land by settle-
Pennsylvania proprietors protested to the Governor of Con-
necticut, but his answer was "my people have a right to settle
there." This so angered some Pennsylvanians, that it was sug-
gested that a large force of Pennsylvanians go to the Wyoming
Valley, take all Yankees (Connecticut people) captive, ship the
women and children back to Connecticut by way of Philadelphia
by boat and hold the men captive for bail. This plan shows the
strong feeling that existed between Connecticut and Pennsylvania
over the Valleys.
The Pennsylvanians decided to stop the Connecticut settlers
by obtaining the friendship of the Indians in the Valleys so that
they would show enmity to any but Pennamites. (Pennamites were
Pennsylvanians.) To show proof of Pennamite friendship toward
the Indians, white men sent by the governor from Easton came
into the valley and built ten long houses for the Indians, planted
crops for them and returned to their homes in Easton. The plan
was successful. All Connecticut newcomers to the valley were
discouraged until the summer of 1762 when twenty Yankee men
came to the Wyoming Valley, built houses and planted crops. In
the fall they returned to Connecticut for their wives and families.
When the settlers returned in the spring of 1764, they found
their houses burned and their crops destroyed. They rebuilt and
replanted but the Indians attacked in October of that year killing
every man, woman and child. The Pennsylvania colony made no
effort to punish the Indians.
In 1768, a conference was held between the Six Nations and
the Pennamites at Oneida. At this time the Six Nations sold to
Pennsylvania, the land in Lackawanna and Wyoming Valleys.
The Connecticut colonists, upon hearing this disappointing news,
decided that in order to strengthen their claim forty people above
the age of twenty-one years should immediately go to Wyoming
and settle by February first. In the following spring two hundred
more were to go. Five men were put in charge of affairs and in-
structed to build a road that was to follow the Warrior's Path from
the Delaware River through the Wallenpaupack lands, down the
Moosic Mountains and by way of Capoose's Village to Wyoming.
Five towns, each five miles square, were to be laid out.
Upon the arrival of the first forty Connecticut settlers the
Pennamites arrested them, took them to Easton, where they were
released on bail by friends they had in Easton. They immediately
returned to Wyoming and built a fort. The fort built by the first
forty was later called Forty Fort.
In March one hundred fifty more settlers came to the Valley
of Wyoming. In Capoose's Meadow where Bariboza was now
chief, Capoose having died, the Indians watched with interest as
all of the new immigrants passed by and continued to the mouth
of the stream. Many were the signal fires that burned from the
top of Bald Mountain and were read and answered from Camp-
bell's Ledge, two of the highest mountain tops in the area.
In 1771 Isaac Tripp, then a young man of thirty-five years,
built for himself a cabin just south of Capoose's Meadow on a hill
above the Lackawanna River. In 1774 he bought three hundred
seventy-five acres of land from the Connecticut Susquehanna Com-
pany. His son took over the farm when Isaac Tripp, Sr., was
scalped at Wyoming. The British during the Revolutionary War
offered large rewards for the scalps of leaders in the colonies but
the Indians at first refused to scalp Tripp, saying he was a good
man. He was a Quaker and more than fair in his dealings with
the Indians. At one time when they caught him they painted him
and let him go. When Tripp washed off the paint, they felt he
had broken his agreement with them and so they scalped him, but
they may have changed their mind because the British had doubled
the reward for his scalp.
When we say that Tripp bought the land, we mean that when
lots were drawn by the first settlers, this stretch of land which was
farthest up the valley fell to him and he paid for it. The area sur-
rounding Capoose's Village did not attract the earliest settlers.
There was not the wide plain here that could be found in the
Wyoming Valley. In the center of the land on the east side of the
river was a large frog pond, a marshy region unfitted for farming.
By 1785, the Indian trails had heen widened and well marked
with blazes that showed direction. One of the most interesting
land marks was the signal tree that stood on a mountain top north-
east of Wyoming. Its bare trunk, shooting up into the air far
higher than its companions did, had at the top, foliage of such
scantness that it gave the appearance of an umbrella with a huge
handle. When the immigrants from Connecticut saw it, they
knew they were close to their journey's end.
Three roads led out of the village of Capoose. The first went
south from the village to a point just nine miles below the present
site of Scranton (along North and South Main Avenue) to the
Indian town of Asserughney (now Coxton) at the fork where the
Lackawanna meets the Susquehanna. The second road went
northwest (up Market Street) through Leggett's Gap and the
Abingtons to Windsor (just east of Binghamton in New York
state). The third road plunged eastward through what is now
Dunmore, over the tops of the Moosic Range, through Little
Meadows and the Wallenpaupack lands, over the Delaware River
and then across the Hudson River to Connecticut.
As the white men came into the valley, the Indians in the
tradition of their father, Capoose, peacefully started westward,
leaving few relics behind them. Among the relics remaining were
bowls made of soapstone that were beautifully colored. As soap-
stone was found no nearer than New Hampshire or Maryland,
such a relic would show that these Indians wandered long dis-
In 1795, a group of people looking for Indian remains, found,
just north of the East Market Street Bridge, mounds which were
signs of Indian graves. Upon examining the mounds, they found
them to be part of an Indian burying field. As one of the mounds
seemed to have been prepared with special attention, and con-
tained a great quantity of those implements used by the Indians
it was supposed to have been the grave of the chieftain, Capoose.
Arrows, stone vessels, tomahawks and knives, stone mortars and
pestles for pounding corn into samp and nasasamp have been
found near these graves.
There was not in the township of Providence in the year 1776
as many as three houses in a group or even as many as two within
sight of each other. It took much courage and strength to settle
this region. Land was cheap and fertile but it was heavily wooded.
The trees had to be cut and the stumps uprooted. When the fields
were planted, the squirrels and raccoons, that abounded in the
region, became pests.
The few houses that were in the township were made of logs,
the doors were made without boards and the windows without
glass. Skins were used for doors, greased paper, for windows.
News came to homes in the form of a yearly almanac. There were
in all only thirty-five houses in the township, mainly occupied by
New Englanders. The families met together for log fellings and
While things were peaceful in the Lackawanna Valley, there
was constant friction in the Wyoming Valley between the Con-
necticut Yankees and the Pennamites. Three times during the
year 1769, the Pennamites drove the Yankees from their settle-
ment. In 1770 the Yankees drove the Pennamites out three
times. In 1771 there was a severe battle with much loss of life.
In this battle the Yankees were successful and the Pennamites left
These battles from 1769 to 1771 comprised the battles of the
First Pennamite War. The colonists appealed to Connecticut to
take them under their protection. They were at first refused but
in 1774, the request was granted and the Wyoming Colony became
known as Westmoreland and was attached to the county of Litch-
field in Connecticut. For awhile, peace existed in the valley and
many new immigrants came to settle.
In 1778 during the Revolutionary War the Wyoming Valley
settlement was attacked by a force of English and Indians who
came down the Susquehanna River from New York State. The
fighting men of the valley were away with General Washington's
army and only the old and the very young were left to defend their
homes. The Wyoming settlers met complete defeat. Though the
English general was generous in his terms of surrender, the Indians
went completely beyond his control and plundered and killed until
not one settler was left in the Valleys. This was known as the
Wyoming Massacre and a monument memorializing the horrible
incident has been erected at Wyoming, (near the airport). When
General Washington heard of the massacre, he sent General John
Sullivan on a special expedition to punish the Indians. Through
this expedition, the power of the Six Nations was permanently
When Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown and the govern-
ment of the United States was set up, Pennsylvania authorities
asked that a court be established to decide on the ownership of the
Lackawanna and Wyoming Valleys. By the Treaty of Trenton,
Pennsylvania was given the land in the Wyoming and Lacka-
wanna Valleys as far north as our present boundary.
Though the Treaty gave title to the land as a whole, it did
not state what should happen to individual titles to land and
Pennsylvania interpreting it to mean that all Connecticut people
had no longer a right to the land in Pennsylvania sent a Commis-
sion to give them notice that within a year they had to leave the
valley and further, that if they would do so peacefully, land in the
western part of Pennsylvania would be given to them. The Penn-
sylvania Government did this in order to allow Pennsylvanians
who had title to these lands to occupy them. The Connecticut
settlers indignantly refused to leave their homes. They had vali-
antly struggled to build them out of the wilderness. They had
bravely fought to protect them against the English during the
Upon receiving this refusal, Pennsylvania sent a party of
rangers under Justice Alexander Patterson to the valley. The
action of this group is a blot on the records of Pennsylvania. The
soldiers were placed in the settlers homes without the consent of
the owners, were allowed to take what they pleased, turned one
hundred fifty families out of their homes and forced five hundred
people to travel out of the settlement over the Moosic Mountains
to the Delaware without giving them either food or other neces-
sities. Babies, old people, and the sick were forced into fatigue,
hunger and exposure.
News of angry resentment of these acts reached Pennsylvania
authorities and a committee appointed to investigate reported that
an army should be sent to Wilkes-Barre to force Patterson and his
soldiers to disarm. A force, under John Armstrong, arrived and
told the Connecticut sympathizers that, if they would surrender
their arms, he would disarm Patterson. When they did surrender
their arms Armstrong perfidiously had them marched to Easton to
jail. Public opinion finally forced the Pennsylvania rangers to
withdraw in 1784 and the valley was left in peace, but a peace
underneath which smoldered a justifiable thirst for vengeance.
This action terminated the Second Pennamite War.
The leader behind the movement that drove the Pennsyl-
vanians out in 1784 was Colonel John Franklin, (originally a Con-
necticut Yankee), one of the leaders in the Revolutionary War.
In 1785, the Connecticut settlers petitioned Congress to reopen
the case of the Connecticut and Pennsylvania boundary, claiming
that the decision was unfair. While Congress had it under con-
sideration, John Franklin came to a bold resolution. He hoped
to make an independent state out of the Lackawanna and Wyo-
ming Valleys. Many prominent men in Connecticut who thought
the Treaty of Trenton unfair, offered to help him. The Old Sus-
quehanna Company reorganized to provide money and men for
the army. Ethan Allen came all the way from Vermont to help
his Connecticut friends, now in Pennsylvania. If it had not been
for the level-headed thinking of a few of the citizens and the wise
leadership of Timothy Pickering who was sent here by the United
States Government, we might now be an independent state.
Pickering persuaded the Pennsylvania authorities to make
the Wyoming Valley a separate county and not a part of North-
umberland as it had been heretofore. Franklin was captured and
sent to Philadelphia until the young county had a chance to get
started. When the people saw that they would all be treated
equally as Pennsylvanians, they became satisfied and no longer
desired revenge. Franklin was released and became one of the
outstanding leaders of the new county. This was the third and
last Pennamite War.
The Growth of the Villages
With peace came rebuilding. The first house to be put up in
Razorville, the former site of Capoose's Meadow, was Enoch
Holmes's. It stood at the corner of Oak Street and North Main
Avenue. Daniel Waderman of Germany was the second settler.
He was one of the Hessians, hired by the king of England to fight
the Colonists during the Revolution. He was captured near Phila-
delphia. He promised to become a worthy citizen, if he were
allowed to go free. He first lived in Lancaster. He bought a strip
of land in Providence Township hoping to make a better living.
By 1796, there were only three houses in the village of Razorville.
Providence Township was the northern township laid out by the
Susquehanna Company. It extended from Pittston to Blakely.
Deep Hollow on the eastern bank of the Lackawanna River,
one mile south of Capoose's Village, resounded with the stroke of
the advancing ax. A number of settlers in the Valley had bought
and paid both the Susquehanna Company and the Penn estate for
their lands, but in order to restore harmony they repurchased land
The first settler to live in Deep or Dark Hollow (Central
Scranton) was Philip Abbott from Connecticut. He came here
before the Revolution, was one of those who escaped from the
Indians during the Revolutionary War and was imprisoned during
the Pennamite War. When he returned to the home that had
been destroyed several times, he rebuilt it, and since the farms of
the surrounding territory raised rye and corn which had to be
carried to Wyoming for milling, decided to build a grist mill on
the west side of the Roaring Brook just below the present site of
the Cedar Avenue Bridge.
The construction of the mill was marked by rude simplicity.
Two millstones cut from the granite of an adjoining ledge were
placed one above the other and were joined by an iron spindle.
These crushed the grain. The spindle twirled by its attachment of
skins to the mill wheel that lay in the river and was turned by the
current of Roaring Brook. The crushed grain fell on a bolt made
of stretched deer skin perforated with sieve like holes that separated
the flour from the kernel. The bolt was worked by hand.
The river was between the mill and the majority of the farms,
but it could be forded in summer and it froze over in winter. The
mill succeeded to such an extent that it soon needed a larger
capacity. To this end, Philip Abbott took his brother, James, and
Reuben Taylor in as partners. Reuben Taylor built a cabin just
below the mill in the forks of the brook and the river. He had a
large wheat farm there also. In 1789, the three partners sold out
to Seth and John Howe. In the meantime, John Stafford had built
a saw mill on the Creek that bears his name.
In 1796, on the heights below Razorville and west of the
Lackawanna a farm had been built by Joseph Fellows. The home-
stead was on South Main Avenue just opposite what is now
Oxford Street. The farmer had built a rough ford of planks across
the Lackawanna at the flats where the water was sluggish, in order
to take his grain to Howe's mill. The men from Razorville helped
with its construction and the planks were obtained from Stafford's
A part of Hyde Park had been set aside, years before, for
religious and school purposes by the Susquehanna Company. A
preacher built his home on the plot in 1794. Just east of North
main Avenue at Lafayette Street was its location. When the
Susquehanna Company lost its rights, the preacher surrendered
the property to the trustees of Providence Township. The as-
sembly men of Providence Township in 1797 leased the school
reservation (from Swetland Street to Scranton Street and from the
river to Ninth Street) to a citizen for a thousand years. This lease
deprived the schools of untold hundreds of thousands of dollars
from land sales and coal rights.
The Howe family, Seth and John, had a domestic tragedy in
1797. They sold their grist mill to Ebenezer Slocum and James
A. Duwain and left the valley. The Slocum family were early
Yankee settlers of Wyoming. Ebenezer was the crippled child,
who escaped capture when his sister, Frances, was captured by
the Indians. (See appendix.) Their father was scalped by the
Indians during the Revolutionary War. The partners, Slocum
and Duwain, were strong and ambitious.
They improved, enlarged, and added a distillery to the mill.
They also built a saw mill above the grist mill on the brook. Just
back from the river, they built a smith shop. In 1800, James
Duwain withdrew, discouraged by the floods that washed out the
two dams for the mills. Benjamin Slocum took his place.
Thriftily, the Slocums had a "dam build bee" which the farmers
for miles around attended. The mills were necessary to the
farmers for grinding their grain and milling the fine oak and pine
timber that wooded these hills. In the same year as they built the
new dam they added an iron forge. Each of the Slocums built his
house facing the river.
Except for these homes and a few houses of the workmen,
Slocum Hollow was a wilderness. Just in back of their property
as late as 1810, they cleared a space to raise sheep, ( where Lacka-
wanna Avenue and Adams Avenue is now located), but the
wolves and panthers coming from the tamarack swamp killed
them. They gave up. Where the Lackawanna station now stands,
there was a huge wheat field. The Slocums tried to name the
place Unionville, replacing the name Dark Hollow. The latter had
been derived from the contour of the land and the heavy growth
of pine trees around here. The name Unionville did not gain
popularity and the place came to be known as Slocum's Hollow.
The grain mill continued to be a fair source of income, as did
also the distillery business, but because of the limited demand for
lumber, the saw mill was not as profitable. The iron forge did
well at first, but the cost of transporting the iron to its market in
the large cities, such as New York, Philadelphia and other places
along the Atlantic seaboard was so high that it could not be sold
at a profit and meet the price of iron from sources that were nearer.
It was evident even at this early date that the locality needed
good transportation. In 1817, an effort was made to improve the
navigable possibilities of the Lackawanna River so that goods
could be shipped down the Lackawanna into the Susquehanna to
Chesapeake Bay and then to seaports on the Atlantic seaboard.
It was found that canals were too expensive. Water transporta-
tion was much cheaper than land transportation.
Deep Hollow had a good quality of iron ore on the banks of
the river, and a splendid source of charcoal in its pine forests,
(coal was not used here for smelting iron until 1836) , but the town
was isolated. Even Warrior's Path from Connecticut to the Sus-
quehanna by-passed what is now Central Scranton.
Earliest Coal Mine
While the people of our vicinity were pondering the problem
of transportation, events in the outside world were working to
help us. Only England supplied the bituminous coal which was
used for making steam power. v Duriiig-xhje_Wax-o£4^12J3etween
the U, S. and England no bituminous coal could be imported and
charcoal became very expensive. Industry was at the point of
The Wurts brothers from Philadelphia, aware of the need of
fuel for heating and for industry, remembered the black stones they
had seen in explorations while vacationing along the Lackawanna.
They came into the region and bought up much land where the
black stones showed. The coal was lying on the surface of the
ground and could be easily mined. The big problem was to ship
it to Philadelphia and New York. The brothers' first idea was to
carry it by oxen-pulled sleds to Jones's Creek, seven miles from
Providence, where their first mine was attempted. From Jones's
Creek, it would go down the Lackawaxen to the Delaware, and
thence to Philadelphia and New York.
The idea met with failure because the swollen waters of the
Creek in spring carried the raft, on which the coal was loaded, at
such a rate of speed that the raft tipped and the coal was thrown
to the Creek bed. After several failures, the brothers came to the
conclusion that only by building a gravity railroad from the Valley
to Honesdale and by canal from Honesdale to the Delaware and
Hudson Rivers could coal be shipped to the eastern markets and
sold at a profit. (The gravity railroad was a train of cars that
went down the mountain by gravity, was pulled along the level by
horses and was pulled up the mountain by horses or by steam
power. (See page 28.)
The idea of building the gravity road and the canals was a
good one but an expensive one. Through the efforts of the
brothers, the necessary million and a half dollars was collected,
and the Delaware and Hudson Canal and Banking Company was
formed. The road was finished in 1828. Its western terminus
was Rixie's Gap, now Carbondale, eighteen miles north of Provi-
dence where the Wurts brothers had opened their first permanent
Anthracite coal could now be shipped from the Valley to the
eastern seaboard in abundance, but strangely enough, the public
mind had not been accepting coal as a fuel. They had to be taught
to use coal. Many would not take patience enough to learn how
to use it. They would buy some, try it by placing the wood on
top of the coal, and when it refused to burn, they would decide it
was of no use. However, in spite of prejudice, it gradually found
a steadily growing demand. Much of this growth could be attri-
buted to the grates and stoves which were built to achieve the
greatest possible results from use of the fuel (See the story of
In 1826, the Philadelphia and Great Bend Stage coach road
was built. This road provided the first bridge across the Lacka-
wanna. (Previous to this time there had been only public fords.)
The road went east over the Moosic Mountains to what is now
Elmhurst and Moscow, then east to and across the Delaware River
to Philadelphia. Henry Drinker was the motivating force behind
Henry Drinker was also interested in the coal deposits in the
Valley. He aimed to build a gravity plane railroad from the Sus-
quehanna River to the Delaware Water Gap by way of Slocum
Hollow. He had William Henry of Lancaster survey the route
with him. Henry became as interested in the project as Drinker.
They planned to extend the line forty-seven miles north to Great
Bend, aiming to shorten the distance to New York state and so on
to the West. He tried to get subscriptions in the locality but no
interest was evidenced. From 1826 to 1836, Drinker and Henry
tried to get financial backing for the road.
During the big speculation days of Andrew Jackson's term in
office they were successful in interesting a group of investors from
New Jersey in the possibilities of building a road whereby coal
could be shipped to the east and on the return trip, limestone and
iron ore could be brought to the Valley for manufacture. (The
good iron ore found here was limited and soon exhausted.) The
investors' first interest was in building a blast furnace, along the
Roaring Brook. The local people called the newcomers "Jer-
Coming of the Iron Industry
The village of Slocum Hollow had fallen into decay since the
retirement of the Slocums in 1828. Even the building of the North
Canal from Pittston to the Village had not made it possible for
them to remain in business. Dunmore had been settled in 1783
by William Allsworth who on his way to the Susquehanna settle-
ment decided to build an inn on the trail so that travelers coming
over the Moosic Mountains might have a night's lodging. For
many years the town had been called Buckstown. Providence,
(formerly Razorville) was the largest settlement in the Lacka-
wanna Valley. Hyde Park hadn't at that time achieved the status
The people in the four settlements did not take the intentions
of the "J erse yrt es " too seriously and their skepticism seemed justi-
fied in the beginning for the "Jerseyites" had poor luck. First the
cost of land and blast furnaces, and the erection of laborers' homes
exhausted their capital. They began with a deficit, covered by a
mortgage. Secondly, the new stack on the blast furnace was defec-
tive. The hot air ovens had to be multiplied, the machinery
changed and the services of men, who had experience with using
anthracite in smelting iron, had to be procured from Danville.
Thought of a railroad had to be postponed until more capital was
available. It wasn't until the spring of 1843, three years after the
first work was done on the new furnace that the ore poured out
into the molds. The output had increased and the quality of the
ore was good.
Hope once again lived but to be dashed to the ground. The
depression of 1837 caused by the land speculation throughout the
country had cut building activity. Lackawanna Iron, the name
of our product, had no reputation and those who were buying
desired to buy a product with which they were familiar. One of
the investors in the Lackawanna Furnace was George Scranton.
It was due to additional capital from his brothers that the business
was able to survive. In the first years of the Company's existence,
the lone industry was the changing of iron ore into iron.
Because of the high cost of transportation (the iron and coal
from the region had to be drawn by oxen nine miles to Archbald
where the Delaware and HudsonVGanal Company's Railroad had
been extended, while the limestone had to be drawn from Danville
by way of the North Canal), the iron could not be sold in the
eastern markets at a profit. Iron was a bulk product and required
much room so the investors decided to change the iron into a
manufactured article, here at its source. In this way, the Rolling
Mill and Nail Factory came into being.
In 1846, the Erie Railroad was building a line from New York
to Binghamton. In that time the thin rail which covered the
wooden track was called a T rail. T rails were made in England.
The "Jerseyites" had the idea that T rails could be made at Slocum
Hollow. The Erie Railroad was glad to give them the contract,
because the cost of transportation from England was expensive.
New equipment had to be built. Investors were obtained by float-
ing a new stock issue and Lackawanna Iron Works was com-
pleted in 1847.
Prosperity followed in the wake of the new industry for the
new rails were satisfactory. People who had bought stock at
various times came into the valley to see the project in which they
had invested. They became interested in the coal lands in the
valley and many purchased some of these lands, causing land
values to rise in price.
Slocum Hollow began to grow rapidly enough to cause jealous
concern in her rivals, Providence and Hyde Park. On the south
side of the Roaring Brook, three hundred workman's houses had
been built. In 1843, William Henry had begun calling Slocum
Hollow, Harrison, but the name never gained popularity. Many
people called the place the Lackawanna Iron Works, but in 1848
when the first post office was established, the place was called
Scrantonia, later shortened to Scranton.
The postponed aims of the company to build a railroad from
the Valley to the Delaware River was now brought to the front.
Colonel George Scranton added the proposal that it should be a
locomotive road. (See story of Stourbridge Lion.) His idea was
adopted. The money for the railroad was subscribed in 1847 and
the line was completed in 1851. The first locomotive to run on
the new road was the Spitfire. This railroad was the beginning of
the present Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Rairoad. The
iron enterprise had an active existence here for sixty years, creat-
ing, from raw material, products valued at more than one and a
half billion dollars.
The new railroad opened the way for development of the coal
industry which was really the basic industry in Scranton's excep-
tional growth in population from
1840 five hundred
1866 thirty thousand
1910 one-hundred thirty-thousand
Where there is work, the people gather. Where the first grist
mill had stood, there were five immense blast furnaces. In the
field where wheat had been planted, the Lackawanna Iron Com-
pany shops were built. There was a nail factory, a rolling mill,
mines with abundant anthracite coal of good grade and a railroad
that connected the valley with the Atlantic Seaboard and with the
North and West. The forecast for the future was rich with
During the years 1866 to 1910, four other railroads located
in Scranton. These were the Delaware and Hudson, the Jersey
Central, the Erie, and the New York, Ontario and Western.
The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and the
New York Ontario and Western built Round Houses and black-
smith shops for repairing their trains. These shops employed
New industries came to the city. Among these were the
Dickson Manufacturing Company which made mine machinery,
the Cliff Works which manufactured locomotives, the Scranton
Silk Company (now the Sauquoit Silk Company) which received
raw silk from Japan, soaked, tinted and wound the skeins on
bobbins. The bobbin threads were then twisted into various
thread groups, put back into skeins and shipped to the weavers.
The Sauquoit Company now makes nylon thread.
The Lackawanna Mills manufactured woolen underwear,
red and ecru, long and short. They had their own button mill
and their own box factory. The box factory is today the only
one in operation. Capitol Records and Consolidated Molded
Products are situated today on the site of the Lackawanna Mills.
There were carriage shops which made sulkies, surreys and car-
riages for horse pulled transportation.
As the industries grew new people came to the city. By
1925 Scranton had a population of 142,000.
Anthracite coal, or stone-coal as it was called in the early
days, was discovered about 1750 by a gun-smith of Christian
Spring, a place near what is now Nazareth, Pa. He was asked to
repair the guns of two Indians. He told them that they would
have to wait three weeks as his supply of charcoal was exhausted.
The Indians asked for a bag and they went into the forest. After
two hours, they returned with as much stone coal as they could
carry. The stones produced much better heat than the charcoal.
They refused to tell where they had procured it. Their guns were
repaired that day.
The word "coal" was not mentioned on any map of Pennsyl-
vania until 1770 when one published in Philadelphia had the
word "coal" in two places. Pottsville and Minersville are now
located at the points which were indicated.
One of the first persons who used anthracite coal was
Obediah Gore. He emigrated from Connecticut in 1769. Being
a blacksmith by trade, he was interested in the black stones found
by the Indians. He succeeded in using the anthracite coal in his
blacksmith shop after repeated trials. He is believed to have been
the first white man in this section to have used anthracite coal.
"The first coal mining company in the United States was the
Lehigh Coal Mining Company, organized in 1792 by Col. Weiss.
Whetstone, a blacksmith, used anthracite in Schuylkill in 1795.
Coal was discovered in Carbondale in 1799. First coal shipped to
Philadelphia was from Pottsville in 1800. Lehigh Coal Mining
Company shipped two ark loads, about 30 tons, to Philadelphia,
but couldn't sell it. It was finally used to build sidewalks. In
1803 stone coal was burned successfully in a grate at Philadelphia,
but this didn't seem to aid in the development of the industry.
Another boat load sent to Philadelphia in 1806 from the Lehigh
region couldn't be sold. Judge Fell successfully burned it in a grate
at Wilkes-Barre in 1808, and recorded that it made a cleaner and
better fire at less expense than wood. This really began the coal
trade from the anthracite region."- — Stevenson
Jesse Fell, afterward Judge Fell, a blacksmith of Wilkes-Barre
was the first person to discover the possibilities of anthracite coal
for home use. He placed wood in the fireplace in his home and
then, when it had ignited, he placed a quantity of coal on it. This
was done late at night because he feared being made fun of by his
neighbors. Early in the morning, he was astonished to find a
bright fire burning. This was February 11, 1808. There was
great rejoicing throughout the valley over this discovery. It
silenced every criticism as to the foolishness of trying to make
"stones" burn. People now began to realize that the Wyoming
Valley had great wealth in its stores of coal.
The first coal burned in the City of Scranton was discovered
by H. C. VonStorch of Providence. In 1812, the spring rains
washed the dirt from the surface and a coal vein was exposed.
He made a grate and used the coal successfully.
By 1812, anthracite coal was found in abundance on the
upper waters of the Schuylkill. Two four-horse wagon loads of it
were sent from Mill Creek to Philadelphia and sold there with
little effort. Among those who purchased some were the Wurts
William and Maurice Wurts came to this valley in 1812.
They explored the valley in search of coal. They wanted to pur-
chase Mr. Von Storch's interests but he did not care to sell. They
were able to purchase other lands up and down the valley. In
1822 they were mining coal on the Lackawanna where the city of
Carbondale now stands.
The Gravity Railroad
The first railroads built in this area were called gravity rail-
roads because wherever possible the force of gravity was used as
power. Like other railroads they were made by laying down ties
and placing tracks on top of the ties. The ties of this railroad
were made of hemlock and were laid ten feet apart. Upon these
ties were placed the rails made also of hemlock bars which were
twelve inches high, six inches thick, and between twenty and thirty
feet long. These tracks were fastened to the cross ties with
wooden pegs. Bars of iron, two and a half inches long and one
half inch thick were put on the top and inner edge of these rails.
They were fastened to the hemlock with iron screws and were
called strap rails. The phalange of the wheel rested on these iron
bars, saving wear on the wooden rail.
The cars that ran on this railroad ran on a four-foot-three-
inch gauge so they had to be narrower than our present railroad
car in width. They were one half of our present box car in length.
(An example of the passenger type car that later ran on the gravity
railroad can be found at Nay Aug Park, just back of the musuem
on the road to the Zoo.)
On the long planes, of which there were five, the cars of coal
were pulled up the mountain plane by a stationary steam engine
that supported the weight of the coal, while two wheels placed in
tandem let down empty cars that counterbalanced the weight of
the cars. All cars went down the plane by gravity and were con-
trolled by brakes. On the level the cars were pulled by mules or
horses. In some cases the horses became so used to riding down
that force was needed to make them pull the cars when they be-
came stuck on the down grade as sometimes happened when ice or
heat warped the rails. On the short planes, counterbalance or
horse power was used to climb the plane.
On level stretches of ground, the construction of the road
bed was comparatively easy, excepting where narrow valleys were
met. In such cases, trestles were built to preserve a level surface
because the cars could not run up one hill and down the other side
of narrow valleys. The whole road was made up necessarily of
levels and planes. When the surface of the ground did not con-
form to the level or the plane of the proposed road bed, posts were
driven into the ground and the ties were placed on the tops of the
posts. This type of construction was used for differences of four
feet or less between the proposed road bed and the actual surface
of the ground. Whenever larger differences were met a trestle
of hickory wood was built.
In the early days, the cars were attached to the engines by
iron chains, but there were so many breaks in the chains causing
serious accidents that hemp ropes dipped in tar soon replaced
This road was completed in 1830 and continued in use for
more than sixty years. The Pennsylvania Railroad later built a
gravity road from Pittston to Hawley by way of Scranton. It was
patterned after the Delaware and Hudson.
When the gravity railroad was first thought about, it was
planned to use a locomotive on the levels. With this in mind, the
Delaware and Hudson Company wrote to one of their men,
Horatio Allen, who was then on business for them in England and
told him to buy three locomotives. Locomotives were then un-
known in the United States. England alone had had some success
with them. Allen followed orders and the three locomotives were
shipped from England. What happened to two of them has never
been known but the Stourbridge Lion which was the name of the
third, arrived safely in Honesdale where the trial run was to
The name, Stourbridge Lion, was given to the locomotive
because its boiler had been built somewhat in the shape of a lion,
and had been manufactured in Stourbridge, England. It had a
four-wheel drive. The engine was a plain, stout work weighing
about seven tons and could travel four miles per hour with a train
of thirty to thirty-six cars loaded with two tons of coal each. The
firebox (wood burner) was within the boiler with a pipe extend-
ing to the front to give off smoke. The cylinders were vertical and
had two large sweep arms that were attached to the two wheels on
either side. The cylinders were forced, piston-like, up and down
by the steam coming from the boiler that surrounded the firebox.
It generated nine horsepower.
When the locomotive arrived in Honesdale, it was placed on
the Delaware and Hudson railroad. August eighth, 1829, was
the day of the first run and it was the first run of a locomotive in
America. From Honesdale the road ran over a high trestle that
had an uneven track because of the warping of the hemlock in its
construction. Quite a crowd had gathered to view the attempt,
but there was no alacrity to climb aboard for a ride. Horatio
Allen boarded the locomotive alone and having gotten up enough
steam to put the locomotive in motion, he heroically made the run
as far as Seeleyville and then returned to Honesdale, amid loud
cheers. The locomotive was a success. Its weight had easily
pressed down the warps in the wood. But strangely enough, it
was never used.
It was eventually taken apart and the engine was used in
Carbondale in a machine shop. It was later reconstructed and
sent to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. A replica of it
is in a siding just east of the Lackawaxen Bridge (concrete) in
Mr. Allen in 1851 spoke of his experience in running the
monster for the first time as follows: —
"When the imagination has attained to some conception of
the scene, let us seek to go back to the time when only one of these
iron monsters was in existence on this continent, and was moving
forth, the first of his mighty race. When was it? Where was it?
And who awakened its energies and directed its energies? It was
in the year 1829, on the banks of the Lackawaxen, at the com-
mencement of the railroad connecting the canal of the Delaware
and Hudson Company with their coal mines, and he who addresses
you was the only person on that locomotive."
"The circumstances which led to my being left alone were
these: The road had been built in the summer, the structure was of
hemlock timber, and the rails of large dimensions, notched on toe-
caps placed far apart. The timber had cracked and warped, from
exposure to the sun. After about five hundred feet of straight
line, the road crossed the Lackawaxen creek on a trestle-work
about thirty feet high and with a curve of three hundred and fifty
or four hundred feet radius. The impression was very general
that the iron monster would either break down the road or that
it would leave the track at the curve and plunge into the creek.
My reply to such apprehension was, that it was too late to con-
sider the probability of such occurrences; that there was no other
course but to have the trial made of the strange animal which had
been brought here at such great expense but that it was unneces-
sary that more than one should be involved in its fate; that I would
take the first ride alone, and that the time would come when I
should look back to this incident with great interest. As I placed
my hand on the thro-valve handle, I was undecided whether I
would move slowly or with a fair degree of speed; but believing
that the road would prove safe, and preferring that if we did go
down, to go down handsomely and without any evidence of
timidity, I started with considerable velocity, passed the curve in
safety, and was soon out of hearing of the cheers of the large
assemblage present. At the end of two or three miles, I reversed
the valves and returned without accident to the place of starting,
having thus made the first railroad trip by locomotive on the
Western Hemisphere." — J. A. Clark.
The Story of Frances Slocum
Among the early settlers who came to settle in Wilkes-Barre,
was Jonathan Slocum, his wife and their eight children. One
day in November 1778 while Mr. Slocum and the older children
were at work in the fields and while the events of the Wyoming
Massacre were still fresh in the minds of both Whites and Indians,
three Indians drew near to the Slocum cabin. Only one entered
the house where he saw little five-year-old Frances hiding under
the stairs. He threw her over his shoulder and joined the other
Indians. Mrs. Slocum tried to stop them but they would not
listen to her. That was the last that she ever saw of her daughter
Frances. Not many days after Frances was taken, Mr. Slocum
was killed by Indians. The brothers of the lost Frances searched
everywhere for her but without success.
Fifty-seven years later, in an Indian village in Indiana, an
Indian Agent, Colonel Ewing found Frances Slocum. She was
the widow of an Indian chief and her name was Ma-con-a-quah.
The Indians had always been kind to her. Two of her brothers
went to see her. She desired to remain with her children and
grand-children. Members of the Slocum family saw her a number
of times afterward. She died in 1847 at the age of 74 years.
Where Are the Gold, Silver and Lead Mines
In addition to their relics, the Indians of our region have left
a legend of a gold mine, a silver mine and lead mine that are sup-
posed to exist in the Wyoming or Lackawanna Valleys.
In 1766, the Six Nations complained to the proprietary
Government at Philadelphia of white persons who had dug into
a silver mine, twelve miles above the Delaware town of Wymanick
(Wyoming?) and carried away in canoes, three loads of ore. They
held this silver to be the property of the Indians. They suspected
an Indian trader by the name of Anderson.
John Teal, a German, who died in 1794, gave credence to
this story. He had lived among the Oneidas and understood their
language and held their confidence. When their chieftain was
dying, he called Teal to him and told him the location of the mines.
He said that the Indians had always hoped to return to the valley
and had well hidden the entrances to the mines, but that they
could at last see that their hope was fruitless. The chief gave the
location of the mines to Teal. The silver mine was, he said, on
the northeast side of the Lackawanna above a high ledge or moun-
tain, half an hour's walk from the River Susquehanna, twelve
miles above Wyoming. The chief described the gold mine as being
under a ledge of rocks, a few miles above Wyoming Valley at a
point where a rock of the height of an Indian covered a spring.
To give additional authenticity to the story, in 1778 a young
man had been captured by the savages in the valley and was carried
to the top of a mountain from where he could see Wilkes-Barre
in the distance. At dusk the Indians removed a large rock from
the earth. Underneath the rock was a spring from which the
waters had been so arranged as to flow off underground so that
the spring seemed to originate much further down the valley. This
spring was stirred up and a handkerchief placed over the outlet.
When the handkerchief was removed, it was covered with a yellow
sediment, which was carefully placed in a vessel. When the
Indians reached Albany, the yellow sediment was exchanged for
supplies. Upon later release, the young man went over the area
carefully but could never find the spring.
The lead mine was supposed to be at the mouth of Tuscarora
Creek half a mile from where it enters the Susquehanna. Both
the French and Indians used the lead for bullets during the Revolu-
tionary War but several companies have since exhausted time and
money without success in finding it.
Old names of Scranton
Deep Hollow or Dark Hollow— 1788 Philip Abbott.
Unionville — 1794 The Slocums.
Slocum Hollow — 1816 Honoring the Slocums.
Lackawanna Iron Works — After the building of the blast furnaces
in the forties.
Harrison — 1841 Named after William Henry Harrison then Presi-
Scrantonia — 1850 This name was given in honor of its real
founders who brought the iron industry here.
Scranton — 1851 The name was shortened to Scranton, a name
that has never been changed. (Providence and Hyde Park
were merged into the incorporated city of Scranton in 1866.)
The Lackawanna County Court House
The Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company deeded to the
county the present Court House Square. The ground for the
court house was broken on April 14, 1881. The land was a deep
swamp and thousands of dollars had to be spent on excavations
before the hard-pan bottom was reached. Some people remember
when the square was a skating pond in the winter. It is said that
cranberries grew in the swamp and that they could be seen frozen
in the ice.
The First Street Car Lines
A street car line, with horses for pulling power, was opened
between Scranton and Providence in 1866. Other lines were soon
built to Hyde Park and Green Ridge.
The first electric street railway of Scranton was built and
operated by the Suburban Electric Street Railway Company and
ran from Franklin Avenue and Spruce Street, up Spruce Street
to Washington Avenue and out Washington Avenue to the point
where the I. C. S. building is now located. The first car was oper-
ated on November 29, 1886. As there was but one motor, the
car had to be turned on a turntable at the end of the line. This
first car was lighted by six electric lights. The road is now part
of the system of the Scranton Railway Company. This company
had at one time eight street car lines and twenty-six bus lines. It
serves a population of 270,000 up and down the valley. Since
1954 it has become exclusively a bus line.
Local and State Place Names
Blakely — This borough was named for Captain Blakely a com-
mander of the United States Sloop during the War of 1812.
Capouse — The name of one of the city streets of Scranton, named
from the Indian Chief Capoose who lived here before white
Carbondale — The name indicates a valley or dale containing coal.
"Carbon" an element in coal. "Dale" a low place between
Duryea — Named for Abram Duryea of New York who bought
coal lands here.
Dunmore — Named for an Englishman whose family name was
Dunmore. Formerly it had been called "Bucktown" because
of the number of deer found there.
Delaware (River) — Named for Thomas West, twelfth Baron de
la Warr, governor and first captain-general of Virginia who
spent his time and money establishing the Virginia Colony.
Lord de la Warr "passed the capes" of the Delaware in 1610.
Delaware (Indians) — The Indians living upon the banks and
tributaries of this river were called Lenni — Lennape Indians,
but from the time that the river was named they were called
the Delaware Indians.
Drinker — A section of land lying between the Delaware and the
Lackawanna known as Drinker's Beech was so called because
there were vast numbers of beech trees growing upon it and
the lands were owned by Henry Drinker.
Forty Fort — Named for the fort built by the first forty settlers who
came to the Wyoming Valley from Connecticut.
Gettysburg — Named for James Gettys who bought a large tract of
land and laid out a village which he called Gettys-town.
lHazleton — Named from Hazle Township which was named from
Hazel Creek. This stream flowed through Hazel Swamp and
was noted for the abundance of hazel bushes growing along
Harrisburg — Founded by John Harris. It was first called Harris's
Ferry because he established a ferry across the Susquehanna.
Honesdale — Named after Philip Hone. "Dale," a low place be-
tween hills. Note: One of the first locomotive engines intro-
duced and worked in America, called the Stourbridge Lion,
built in England and was run for a while on a little railroad
at Hone's Dale in 1829.
Lackawanna — Indian name "Lee-haw-hanna." "Lee-haw" signi-
fies the forks or point of intersection, "hanna" a stream of
Leggett's Creek — Named for James Leggett who settled near the
mouth of the Creek.
Moosic — The Moosic Mountains take their name from the great
herds of moose inhabiting them at the time of the earliest
explorations by white people.
Mauch Chunk — Named from the Indian name for a curiously
shaped hill on the opposite side of the Lehigh River called
Machk Tschunk or Bear Mountain.
Monongahela — Named from the Indian name for the river "Me-
naungehilla," river with sliding banks.
Monsey — The name of one of the streets of Scranton. Taken
from the Indian name of a tribe of Indians, Minsi or Monseys.
Montrose — Dr. Rose bought a large tract of land here. He com-
bined the French word "mont" with his family name, Rose.
Nanticoke — Taken from name of a tribe of Indians, Nentigo.
Nay Aug — Indian name, Nau-Yaug signifying noisy or roaring
Old Forge — Named from an iron forge built here in 1789 by Dr.
William Hooker Smith.
Olyphant — Named in honor of George Olyphant of New York
who was president of the D. & H. Canal Company.
Pennsylvania — The name Pennsylvania means "Penn's Forest-
land." The name was given in honor of William Penn's
Philadelphia — The name selected by William Penn for the city he
founded. It means "City of Brotherly Love."
Pittsburgh — Named in honor of Sir William Pitt, an Englishman,
who championed the cause of the oppressed colonies before
the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.
Pittston — Named at first "Pitts-town after Sir William Pitt (See
Pocono — Taken from Indian name "Pocohanne" — a stream
between two mountains.
Pottsville — Named for John Pott who bought a large tract of land
Providence — Name taken from Rhode Island's capital, as thirty
of the Susquehanna Company owning the "wild lands" came
from the colony of Rhode Island.
Scranton — Named in honor of the Scrantons who came here in
Schuylkill — Name given by the early Dutch explorers meaning
"hidden stream" because they passed its mouth without
Shamokin — Indian name meaning Schahamokink, "the place of
Shenandoah — Indian name meaning "Great Plains."
Shickshinny — This name is said to mean "five mountains."
Susquehanna — Taken from the Indian name Sisquehanne, Sisku,
mud, hanne, river. Some white people overheard some
Indians remark at the time of a flood, Juh! Sisquehanne!
which means How Muddy the river is!
Tamaqua — Indian name Tamaque meaning "beaver."
Taylor — This borough was named for Moses Taylor, a New York
business man, who had extensive interests here.
Throop — This borough was named for Dr. B. H. Throop, a
pioneer physician in Scranton.
Tunkhannock — This name has two interpretations (1) Tank-
hanne, a small stream (2) Tagh4ca-nick, "forest or wilder-
Wallenpaupack — Indian name meaning "deep, stagnant water."
Wilkes-Barre — Named for John Wilkes and Isaac Barre.
Winton — This borough was named for W. W. Winton who had
coal interests here.
Wyoming — Taken from an Indian name Maughwame, meaning
"the large plains." Maughwan, "large" — Wame, "plains."
In 1866 by a charter from the state legislature, Scranton,
Providence and Hyde Park were joined into one city with the
When Scranton, Hyde Park and Providence were boroughs,
each one had a burgess to govern it. When the boroughs became
a city of the third class in 1865, a new government had to be
formed. Under this government the city would elect a mayor, a
clerk of the mayor's court, a treasurer and a marshall. Each ward
(there were twelve) would elect its own two representatives to the
Common Council, one representative to the Select Council and
one alderman. The Councils made the laws of the city and levied
the taxes. The mayor and marshall enforced the laws and the
treasurer collected the taxes and paid the bills. The School Board
from 1880 to 1911 was formed of one representative from each
ward. It was a separate unit.
In 1901 when the population of Scranton had risen to over
100,000 the city automatically became a second class city. A
second class city's government is the one we are living under today.
The charts on pages 41, 42 and 45 are simplified diagrams of our
type of city government. All the offices under "People" are elec-
tive. All others are appointive. The Council passes laws and
levies taxes. The tax collector collects city, property and insti-
tutional taxes plus the school property tax. There is a central
tax agency. The school district collects a wage tax. The School
Board levies all taxes for free public education and sets up rules
and regulations for the maintenance of the schools. These rules
and regulations are administered by the four groups listed below
them on the chart, page 45.
Form of Government — Councilmanic Class 2A City.
The mayor holds a mandate directly from the people and he
can square off with the city council and dominate the adminis-
The only real check on the mayor is the power of council to
The mayor should be a civic leader — vitally concerned with
all questions which concern or affect the community. He should
be responsible for a progressive and efficient administration.
Our City Plan
Ash • Garbage
— Redevelopment — Legal Department I
— Recreation Commission I *— | Purchasing Agent I
Of the total population in Scranton 79% were born in the
United States. Of the other 21% the predominating nationalities
are: Italian, Polish, Austrian, English, Welsh, Lithuanian, Irish,
Russian, German, Czechoslovakian.
There are 37,101 homes in the city of Scranton.
There are eight banks and one trust company in the city.
The latter is now part of a bank. One hundred forty churches in
the city represent all the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish denomi-
nations. Many of the churches were formed by nationality groups.
Outside of anthracite mining there are 312 manufacturing firms.
The Scranton Times and the Scranton Tribune are the two daily
papers. In addition there is one Sunday paper and several week-
lies. Eleven hospitals minister to the sick of the city.
Scranton is the eightieth city in population in the United
Superintendent of Police
Two assistants, the Day captain and the Night captain
Patrolmen — divided into precincts
Patrol duty is the most important element in police operations.
They are in constant contact with the public — our first
line of defense.
Two fire chief assistants
Four battalion chiefs
Superintendent of Fire Alarms
Engine Houses (Numbered as "Hose Co. No. — )
Rescue Squad — Ambulance
Engineering Administration Motor Equipment Parks and Recreation
Streets and Sewers Refuse Disposal Sewage Disposal Public Property
Public Works is financed by current taxes — bond issues —
special assessments for paves and sewers.
The sewage of the city of Scranton is now deposited in the
Lackawanna River. According to law, in the near future deposit-
ing sewage in the streams of the state will be forbidden. The plans
are now drawn up for a sewage disposal plant to be built on the
river bank near South Washington Avenue.
Parks are under the Public Works Department. There is a
Superintendent of Parks. The following parks are scattered
throughout the city:
Nay Aug Park
Weston Park and Weston Field House
Under the Recreation Commission, there are thirty-five play-
grounds with trained instructors provided for summer recreation.
In 1945 a consultant found the city twenty-five years behind the
times in comparison with cities of the same size. By 1952 recrea-
tional facilities had so improved that Scranton is now comparable
to cities of the same size. This was accomplished by the merging
of the city and school district recreational facilities as recommended
by the Recreation Commission.
Food and Milk Quarantine Officer Laboratory and
Inspector Vital Statistics
Number — Five elected members.
Term — Five years.
Salary— $4000 per year. (Starting January, 1958, $5000.)
Voting is a privilege which should not be taken lightly. Every
citizen should realize that with this privilege comes the responsi-
bility of choosing the best fitted person for the job, regardless of
party. The citizen should study carefully the backgrounds of the
candidates and vote for the one he feels can most fully meet the
demands of the office.
The School Board consists of nine directors elected by the
people throughout the city. No salary is connected with the office.
The Board appoints the Superintendent of Schools, Secretary of
the Board, Superintendent of Buildings and Supplies, Solicitor,
Supervisors, Principals and Teachers, Janitors, Engineers and
Maintenance Men, Doctors, Dentists and Nurses.
There is one Senior High School
Central High School
There are two Junior-Senior High Schools
Technical High School
West Scranton High School
two Junior High Schools
North Scranton Junior High School
South Scranton Junior High School
thirty-eight grade schools and one administration build-
ing, containing all administrative offices and the Board
Room, where all School Board meetings are held.
There are approximately 16,000 children and 650
teachers and administrative people in the system.
Superintendent of Schools
Supt. Bldgs. & Equipment
Dist. Sec'y - Bus. Mgr.
Scranton from 1940 to 1950 suffered a population loss of
approximately fifteen thousand people. Families left the city
because there were not enough employment opportunities. Coal
deposits were becoming depleted. The city is now struggling by a
"LIFE" movement (Lackawanna Industrial Fund Enterprise) to
encourage industries to locate here. To some extent the move-
ment has been successful.
Scranton has all the attributes that should make her a great
city. The climate is healthful and temperate with no extremes,
the average temperature being 49 degrees. The water supply is pure
and abundant, clear sparkling mountain water from nine reser-
voirs with an average capacity of 639,000,000 gallons. The trans-
portation facilities include five major railroads, an interurban
line, three motor lines and two airports with four airlines. Good
motor highways lead in all directions. Schools and recreational
facilities are of the best.
Educational Opportunities and Cultural Opportunities
We have an excellent elementary and secondary school system
offered in Scranton. There are three institutions of higher
The University of Scranton founded in 1888 offers the arts,
science, business and engineering curricula. It is under the direc-
tion of the Jesuit Fathers.
Marywood College founded in 1915 offers the arts, sciences,
music education and library science curricula. It is a Catholic
College for Women, the first in Pennsylvania.
Keystone Junior College is located at LaPlume, fifteen miles
from the city, but is considered a Scranton Institution. It was
founded in 1868. It offers preparatory courses in the arts, busi-
ness and engineering and terminal courses in various phases of
business administration, engineering technology, medical secretary
The libraries in each elementary school classroom meet the
specific needs of the children in the room. A minimum of fifty
different titles is found in each classroom. In addition maps,
globes, encyclopedia and dictionaries are made available. In each
high school is found a collection of from 3500 to 5500 volumes.
Magazines, pamphlets, pictures, maps, globes, college catalogs add
to the source of information.
The Albright Memorial Library at the corner of Washington
and Vine with its four branches in Hyde Park, South Side, Green
Ridge and Providence is Scranton's free public library. In any
given year it circulates more than 200,000 books.
Music has always played an important part in the cultural
life of the city. The predominant settlers of this valley were of
English, Welsh, Irish, German and Swedish descent. They sang
and danced to the folk music of their ancestry and were not
reluctant to invent tunes to answer certain needs. This exchange
of folk music contributed in no small part to the good-will that
was established by these early settlers, and which has prevailed
throughout the years.
To the Welsh we are indebted for two great musical institu-
tions, the eisteddfod and the gymanfa ganu. The eisteddfod is a
competitive festival. The gymanfa ganu is a consolidation of
several churches in a community for the purpose of singing hymns
under capable and inspiring leadership.
During the early nineteenth century there was a great influx
of people of German ancestry from the states of New York and
New Jersey. To this group of settlers we are indebted for the
organization of the Scranton Liederkranz, and Maennerchor
The instrumental music of our city and vicinity kept pace
with the progress of the vocal groups. A Carbondale Band was
organized in 1839. In 1873, Providence, alone, boasted of two
Mr. Robert Bauer in 1877 organized and conducted Bauer's
Military Band. In 1894, a second outstanding band was organized.
It was the Lawrence Band.
The initial opportunity for the development of symphonic
music in our city came in 1893. A string quartet was formed
which was soon followed by the first Scranton Symphony Orches-
tra in 1894.
The racial complexion of our city was decidedly changed
during the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth. It was
at this time that numerous immigrants from continental Europe
made their appearance in Scranton. Prominent among these
people were groups of Italians, Lithuanians, Slovaks, Hungarians,
Russians, Ukrainians, and Poles.
Many of these groups have made specific contributions to the
music of our city, especially our choral music.
It was the Italians . . . who sponsored our first interest in
The Russian and Ukrainian groups brought to Scranton the
appreciation of a fine a cappella singing and an interest in ballet.
The early Polish inhabitants of our city organized fine choral
groups and have presented interesting folk festivals in the authentic
costume of their native land. It was the dance of the Polish race,
the polka, that popularized the name of our state and city in recent
years through the medium of the song, "The Pennsylvania Polka."
It is fitting that we recognize some of the more widely known
contemporary Scranton artists. Included on this list would be
Mr. Thomas L. Thomas, who possesses a fine baritone voice. He is
doing extensive work in radio in addition to his concert programs.
We are justly proud of Miss Lillian Raymondi who won for herself
a place on the Metropolitan roster with her lovely soprano voice.
Her roles have been admirably sung and not infrequently attended
by Scrantonians. Irma Galli-Campi, too, has gained recognition
in the field of opera. Anne Crowley, one of our youngest artists,
has appeared in "Oklahoma." In the field of composition we
especially recognize the name of Jack Duro who has won several
Phi Mu Alpha awards for his musical compositions.
The Scranton Philharmonic Orchestra is our largest instru-
mental organization today. It was organized in 1937 under the
direction of Dr. Felix Gatz and Dr. Frieder Weissman is the
present conductor. Several concerts are presented annually by the
orchestra and each program features a guest artist. The regular
series of programs is augmented by a series of youth concerts.
Scranton has the distinction of being one of the first cities in
the United States to foster the organized-audience plan for the
promotion of good music. This idea is more popularly known as
the community concert. The plan was first tried here during the
concert season of 1928-1929. Today the association sponsors a
series of fine concerts and has a membership of eighteen hundred
people. These facts attest to Scranton 's endorsement of good
Among the people who have remembered the city with gifts
ORLANDO S. JOHNSON, one of the city builders and one
of the great coal operators of the valley. He left to the city of
Scranton the bulk of his fortune, to be used in founding a manual
training school for the boys and girls of the city. More than one
million dollars was available for the school. The trustees of the
fund selected the Richmond estate as the site of the school. It is
located on North Main Avenue, in the Providence section of
Mr. Johnson was born in New York City on January 24, 1847.
At the age of seventeen, he came to Scranton. He became exten-
sively interested in mining operations in this valley that were well
managed and profitable. He married Mary Meylert, daughter of
General Amos N. Meylert and a sister of Mrs. Joseph A. Scranton.
For a number of years before his death he was an invalid.
In his will, after providing for his widow and other heirs, he
left the main part of his fortune "to establish and maintain a
school for boys and girls where they would be taught the useful
arts and trades — in order to enable them to earn a livelihood and
become useful members of society."
WORTHINGTON SCRANTON, descendant of the early
owners of the Iron and Steel Works, and the family for which the
city was named, gave $1,000,000 in trust, the income of which
was to be distributed to the charities of the city each year.
He also gave to the University of Scranton, under the respon-
sibility of the Society of Jesus, a piece of land known as the
"Scranton Estate" bounded on the west by Madison Avenue, on
the north by Linden Street, on the east by Monroe Avenue, and
on the south by Ridge Row, also the properties on the northeast
and southeast corners where Linden Street intersects Monroe
Avenue, and three properties on Piatt Place. Two of the latter
are used as radio station WUSV, the college radio, "Aquinas"
the school paper, faculty office and student residence.
The University plans to build a residence hall on the north-
east corner, a cafeteria on the southeast corner and on the
estate proper, a science building, a library, a faculty residence, a
chapel and an administration building.
JOSEPH J. ALBRIGHT, a Moravian, was born in Warwick,
Pennsylvania, September 23, 1811. When he was twenty-five
he visited Slocum Hollow. As an expert iron manufacturer he
was asked to give an opinion of the value of iron ore deposits
found here. He found the ore low in iron content but when he
noticed the large anthracite coal deposits in the region he advised
his employers to invest in the anthracite coal industry. They did
not take his advice.
George W. Scranton brought Mr. Albright to Scranton years
later as manager of the coal mines of the D. L. & W. Railroad.
In 1866 he went over to the D. & H. as general coal sales agent
and he remained there until 1877. He was one of the men who
established the Scranton Gas and Water Company and he was a
director in the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company.
The Albrights had four children. Their home was at the
corner of Washington Avenue and Vine Street, the site of the
Scranton Public Library, which was built by the Albright children
in memory of their parents and as a monument to the part they
played in the development of Scranton.
ISAIAH F. EVERHART. The Everhart Museum of Scran-
ton, Pennsylvania, was endowed by the late Dr. Isaiah F. Everhart,
who was born in Summit Level, Berks County, on January 22,
1840. Dr. Everhart, after receiving his college training in Frank-
lin and Marshall College, graduated in medicine from the Univer-
sity of Pennsylvania. He was a cavalry doctor during the Civil
War. In 1868 he settled in Scranton.
His inclinations were toward scientific hobbies — collecting
stones, shells, wood, insects and birds of the region.
Dr. Everhart Submits His Proposition to the City
Dr. I. F. Everhart, through Mayor Dimmick, communicated
to councils his plans about the museums he wished to donate to
the city. This communication was accompanied by another from
the mayor, in which he referred to Dr. Everhart as a public-spirited
citizen. The communication submitted by Mayor Dimmick was
February 5, 1907
To the Honorable,
The Select and Common Councils,
City of Scranton, Pennsylvania
Gentlemen: It is my privilege to transmit to your honorable
bodies a communication from Dr. I. F. Everhart, in which he sets
forth his desire to erect, endow, and give to the city of Scranton,
a Museum of Natural History, Science and Art, the same to be
located in Nay Aug Park.
This gift, involving a total expenditure to the donor of two
hundred thousand ($200,000) dollars, should have far-reaching
effects, not only through its direct purpose, but also through the
incidental, yet striking, evidence thus afforded, of high and loyal
citizenship, a citizenship that recognizes the needs of a community
and volunteers to meet those needs, and upon a large scale, from
private possessions; a citizenship that should be an inspiration to
all who believe that life involves duties to one's neighbor, as well
as to one's self, and duties that are always commensurate with
Excerpts from Dr. Everhart's Letter
Gentlemen: I propose to erect a museum of natural history,
science and art, to be located in Nay Aug Park and to be known
as the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science and Art.
I will donate my collection of forty years' work of the animals,
birds, woods and seeds found within the state. To this I will add
an endowment which shall go for the running expenses of the
The museum shall be open to all who may desire to either
give or loan anything that is worthy of a place therein, and the
name of the donor shall be attached to all such gifts.
The Museum of Natural History with a trust fund for its
maintenance and later enlargement, was presented to the city in
1908 by Isaiah F. Everhart. The trustees completed his program
in 1928 by enlarging the building.
"For the young and the old of this generation,
and for all those who follow after us, I dedicate
*The Museum has never received any financial endowment other
than that which came from the original Everhart bequest.
this Museum for their pleasure and instruc-
Isaiah F. Everhart, M.D., 1908
Birds — Classified according to A.O.U. (American Birds) and
Early American Folk Art
Primitive Arts — African and Oceanic
Knight Coal Mural (Gift of Worthington Scranton)
General Collections in the fields of Art, Science and Natural
Present Day Opportunities >
The Everhart Museum has specialized in the last several years
in educational activities including workshop groups, docentry
tours, special programs (films, lectures and recitals), lending of
films and slides, consultation in fields of art and science.
The Membership Program supports adult lecture series, how-
ever, all events and services are open to the public without charge.
For those interested in the Museum, and its full scope — it is
strongly recommended that a visit be made to the Everhart
Museum so that one may be aware of behind the scene activities
which go into making present day opportunities possible.
CHARLES S. WESTON and his sister, Mrs. Caroline Wes-
ton Bird, the donors of Weston Field and Weston Park, were
members of one of Scranton's pioneer families and were among
Scranton's builders. They were born in Carbondale. Their par-
ents moved to Scranton when they were very young children.
They received their early education in the public schools
At the sound of the name Weston one thinks of health, clean
living and wholesome recreation. Mr. Weston and his sister have
given to the city a lasting monument. It is a living monument
that will continue to have a beneficial effect on the youth and the
adults of the community. In 1915 they purchased a plot of
ground and erected a recreation center, prepared baseball fields,
tennis courts, dance pavilions, meeting rooms and gave it all to the
city. In 1926, a swimming pool was added; plus an extra gift
The Westerns' gifts have been the basis of a splendid recrea-
tional program which has been developed through the years.
These gifts were made by Mr. Weston and his sister in
memory of their parents.
PART II— THE GEOGRAPHY OF SCRANTON
41° 25' North Latitude.
75° 40' West Longitude.
Location in the State — Scranton is in the northeastern part
Location in the County — Scranton is southwest of the cen-
tral part of Lackawanna County.
Altitude — 753.51 feet above sea level. (A metal plate on the
southwest corner of the Court House gives this.)
The altitude of other places in the city is as follows:
845 ft. — Main Avenue and Jackson Street.
747 ft. — Sanderson Avenue and East Market Street, near
No. 27 School.
957 ft. — The Everhart Museum, near No. 42 School.
942 ft. — Oram Boulevard, near No. 41 School.
825 ft. — School Street, near No. 25 School.
1036 ft. — Prescott Avenue and Ash Street^near No. 5
892 ft. — Beech Street and Crown Avenue, near No. 30
945 ft. — Cornell Street, near No. 43 School.
682 ft. — South Washington Avenue, near No. 6 School.
763 ft. — Pittston Avenue, near No. 3 School.
920 ft. — Northeast corner of city adjoining Dunmore.
1016 ft. — Southeast corner of city adjoining Minooka.
1290 ft. — Northwest corner of city adjoining Chinchilla.
1470 ft. — Southwest corner of city on mountain adjoining
1770 ft. — Highest point within city limits on West Moun-
655 ft. — Lowest point in the city near Taylor along the
Distance to other places:
Taylor 4 miles Binghamton .... 63.5 miles
Old Forge 6 " Harrisburg 135
Clarks Summit .... 7 " New York 135
Carbondale 20 " Philadelphia .... 125
Wilkes-Barre 17 " Buffalo 244
Area — 20.5 square miles.
Population (Census of 1950)— 125,000.
Rank in the State — Fourth largest city in 1950.
Scranton is located in a valley surrounded by mountains.
These mountains are a part of the great Appalachian system
located in the eastern part of the United States
(1) Local names of mountains:
Moosic Mountains, elevation 800 to 2120 feet.
West Mountain, elevation 900 to 1770 feet.
(2) Two natural outlets in these mountains:
Chinchilla Gap (The Notch) — Northwestern part
of Scranton formed by Leggett's Creek cutting a
passage through the West Mountain.
Nay Aug Gap — Northeastern part of Scranton
formed by the Roaring Brook cutting a passage
the Moosic Mountains.
Scranton is located in a crescent shaped valley protected by
mountains on both sides. The surrounding mountains protect
the city from high winds, and influence the temperature and rain-
fall, both summer and winter, causing wide departures in both
within a few miles of Scranton. Because the mountains are so
near to the valley, the climate is relatively cool in summer with
frequent shower and thunderstorm type rain, usually of brief
duration. The winter in the valley is not severe, sub-zero tem-
peratures are not frequent, neither are sever snow storms. Much
of the winter percipitation occurs as rain. The normal annual
snowfall is only 43 inches.
Some unusual weather which has occurred in Scranton
(a) blizzard of '88 — rain changing to snow which continued
for three days — winds with a velocity of 65 miles per
hour. (March 11)
(b) Billy Sunday Snowstorm — 17 inches of snow with winds
of high velocity, March 1, 1914.
(c) Greatest snowfall — 20 inches — January 19-20, 1936.
(d) Coldest weather — 19° below zero — February 9, 1934-
(e) Warmest weather — 103 degrees — July 8, 1936.
In the 55 years existence of the weather bureau there have
been only six days when the temperature exceeded 100 degrees.
On September 29 and 30, 1924 Scranton had its greatest
Three disastrous floods have occurred in the area:
March 12 and 13, 1936
May 22 and 23, 1942
August 18 and 19, 1955
Fortunately, severe weather is uncommon in this area.
49.3° — Average temperature per year.
40.49 — Normal rainfall per year.
31 — Average number of days with thunder per year.
131 — Average number partly cloudy days per year.
151 — Average number cloudy days per year.
83 — Average number clear days per year.
Prevailing winds are southwesterly.
The birds whose all-year round native habitat is found in the
vicinity of Scranton are:
Ringed Neck Pheasant
White Breasted Nuthatch
Summer visitors to our area are:
Red Winged Blackbird
Trees found in the forests within a five mile radius of Scranton
Wild Cherry (black and red)
In the forests of our vicinity are found:
The Lackawanna River
It rises in Wayne and Susquehanna Counties flowing in a
southwesterly direction through Lackawanna County and enters
the Susquehanna River at Pittston.
It rises in the southeastern part of Lackawanna County and it
enters the Lackawanna River at Birch Street in the south side
section of the city. The Roaring Brook is the brook that flows over
Nay Aug Falls.
Stafford Meadow Brook
It rises southeast of Scranton and enters the Lackawanna
River at Brook Street in the south side section of the city.
It rises northwest of Scranton and enters the Lackawanna
River near Marvine Avenue in North Scranton.
The Water Supply
The water supply of Scranton consists of natural, mountain
water. The water system is unique because it is operated com-
pletely by gravity. There are no pumps needed within the water-
shed. Scranton is not the only city supplied by a gravity water
system; Wilkes-Barre, New York City and Worcester, Massachu-
setts receive their supplies of water in the same manner.
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Probably the most remarkable part of the water system is
Lake Scranton, which acts as a huge catch-basin, and may be com-
pared to a water tank located on the roof of a factory building.
Lake Scranton contains, when filled to capacity, over 2,500,-
000,000 gallons of water. It has a depth of from 35 to 60 feet,
and because of its existence Scranton could go 400 days without
rain before the water supply would be completely exhausted. The
total daily consumption of water in Scranton and Dunmore is
Reservoirs of Scranton
The following table gives the names, location, capacity, etc.,
of the reservoirs that supply Scranton with water. There are in
all 18 reservoirs which supply water to Scranton's homes. Only
the larger ones are named in the table.
2,518,000,000 6.0 1282 Storage and
The reforestation work of the Scranton-Spring Brook Water
Service Company was begun in 1913 when white-pine trees were
planted along Long Swamp Drive. This has been continued from
year to year until the present total is 2,500,000 trees. Only conifers
are planted, as the normal, natural growth of deciduous trees is
very great. (Note: Conifers are trees that are evergreen having a
cone for fruit, as the spruce, pine, etc. Deciduous trees are not
evergreen. Their leaves fall every year as the maple, oak, etc.) The
first plantings were entirely White Pine but in recent years Red
and Scotch Pine, Norway and White Spruce and European Larch
have been used. The great bulk of the early planting was on
Stafford Meadow Brook near Scrub Oak Mountain. In 1918
planting was begun around Griffin Reservoir. Today there are
plantings of 3,300,000 trees.
Trees are planted from 4 to 6 feet apart, the plantations
averaging about 2500 trees to the acre. On the water company's
total holdings of 23,000 acres, the work of reforestation is now
The purpose in planting trees is the improvement of the
watershed. This includes not only the improvement in quality of
stream flow and the lessening of the dirt which the streams carry
during flood, but also the appeal which the beauty of a forested
watershed makes to the people.
The purity of the supply is carefully watched at all times.
Close attention is paid to keep the watershed area as free from
pollution as possible. Over 21,000 acres of land have been pur-
chased in order to keep the water pure. Much of this land has
been reforested to make the watershed more attractive to the eye.
Ownership of the reservoirs and the land around them enables the
Water Company to keep off trespassers.
Before the water enters the pipes at the distributing dams it is
sterilized by chlorine gas to insure the absolute purity of the water.
Final control of all this work rests in the laboratory where
daily tests are carried out to determine the number and kinds of
bacteria in the tap water in the city. Analyses are made every
day of the water at the dams and of tap samples from the different
sections of the city so that the condition of the water is known at
Local Geography of the Lackawanna and Wyoming Coal Field
Many millions of years ago, the land that is now Pennsylvania
was covered with a dense vegetation, far more dense than any
tropical jungle of today. Giant tree-ferns, mosses of great size and
grasses the size of our present forest trees covered the land. The
atmosphere was heavy with moisture and carbonic acid gas; the
heat was oppressive and plant life grew luxuriantly.
Through ages these luxuriant plants flourished and died and
sank into the swamps; new growths sprang up and followed the
same course until layers of great thickness were formed. Ages
passed, and the surface changed. The swamps sank lower, and
the sea came in and covered the deposits of plants. Silt and sand
were carried down by the rivers and spread over it. The beds sank
lower; limestone was formed above and the layers of sand, silt and
limestone caused great pressure and heat.
The half-decayed vegetation slowly changed under this heat
and pressure into different forms of coal. If there was a great deal
of pressure, the beds of vegetation became anthracite coal; if less,
bituminous coal. Still less heat and pressure formed lignite. In
areas where almost no heat and pressure had been applied were
formed beds of peat. In some coal beds are found traces of ferns,
mosses and trees. Impressions of plants or animals found in coal
are called fossils.
Scranton has an abundance of anthracite coal. It lies in
twelve beds or veins underneath the ground to a depth of about
800 feet. These veins are found below the surface in the following
The aggregate thickness of the coal is approximately 74 feet
or nearly 1 foot of coal for every 10 feet of rock. The maximum
thickness of coal veins is found in the vicinity of Gammon's Hill,
near the Cathedral Cemetery, West Scranton, where every vein is
found, providing in all an approximate thickness of 74 feet. In
most localities only some of the veins enumerated above are
present. The lowest spot where coal veins are found is just outside
the Scranton city line in Dickson City (13 feet below sea level).
This occurs in the No. 3 Dunmore Vein of Storrs Colliery, the
property of the Glen Alden Company.
Vein or Bed
Big or 14 Foot
No. 1 Dunmore
No. 2 Dunmore
No. 3 Dunmore
No. 4 Dunmore
The coal veins underneath the ground are lying approximately
parallel to the general surface contour of the Lackawanna and
Wyoming Valleys. They extend from one side of the valleys to
the other and reach from one end of the Valley to the other.
The northern point of the deposits extends to Stillwater above
Forest City; the southern point to Shickshinny. This distance
is approximately 56 miles. The width of the deposit of coal
averages about 3i miles. Pennsylvania has a greater area of coal
than that of the British Isles, Spain, France and Belgium combined.
The approximate amount of coal shipped from Lackawanna
County during the period from 1923 to 1928 inclusive was 1 10,-
000,000 tons. The average yearly production during this produc-
tion was 18,000,000 tons in Lackawanna County and 32,000,000
tons in Luzerne County.
How Coal is Mined
A long, deep opening called a shaft is dug straight down
through the ground until a vein or a layer of coal is reached. Then
the miners dig along this seam, taking out the coal as they go.
After the coal is dug or blasted loose, it is loaded into small cars
and taken up through the shaft into a breaker.
When anthracite comes from the mine, it is a confused mix-
ture of large and small pieces of coal and dirt. This mass is sub-
jected to cleaning and separating processes in breakers, huge mills
equipped with costly machinery where the coal is crushed, washed
and separated into the various sizes required by the consumer.
Not only is the coal broken up and segregated into sizes, but during
this process the slate and other impurities are removed. The
breakers represent an investment of between $2,000,000 and
Different Sizes of Anthracite
1. Grate — Used for gas making and other manufacture.
2. Egg — Used for large domestic furnaces; also gas making.
3. Stove — Used in kitchen ranges, small furnaces, open grates.
4. Chestnut — Used for kitchen ranges, base burners.
5. Pea — Used for domestic furnaces and kitchen ranges.
No. 1 — Used for heating boilers in hotels, public buildings,
apartment houses, green houses, for furnaces equipped
with proper grates and adequate draft.
No. 2 or
Rice — Used for steam making.
No. 3 or
Barley — Used for steam making.
Industries of Scranton
Scranton is a manufacturing center because:
1. There are good transportation facilities for bringing raw ma-
terials and for sending manufactured goods.
2. There is an abundant supply of anthracite coal.
3. There is an abundance of labor.
4. There is a healthful climate.
5. There is a good supply of electric power.
6. There a good water supply.
The industries of Scranton which give employment to the
largest numbers of people (according to the Chamber of Com-
merce, 1956) are in order of number employed:
1 . Textile manufacturers
Metals and metal products
Weaving and throwing
Food and kindred products
Clay, glass and stone products
Transportation and Communication
Delaware, Lackawanna & Western (The Lackawanna)
Delaware and Hudson (D. & H.)
Central Railroad of New Jersey
New York, Ontario and Western
Electric Interurban Railroad
The Laurel Line, The Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley RaiL
road Company, a local corporation used as freight line only.
The Scranton Transit Company, a subsidiary of the American
Street Railway Company, a corporation that operates buses in
many cities of the United States.
1 . Greyhound Bus Line
Scranton is on a direct line from New York to Chicago.
This route goes from New York, through Scranton, Buffalo,
Erie, Cleveland and Toledo to Chicago. From Chicago
one may go on to points west.
2. Capital Trail ways
This bus company is made up of sixty-eight independent
bus companies. From Scranton, connections can be made
to any point within the United States.
3. Martz Bus Lines
This line has headquarters in Wilkes-Barre. Its buses
come from New York and Philadelphia to Scranton and
travel to Towanda, Buffalo and points west.
Scranton has two airports, the Avoca and the Schultzville.
The former, the largest in Northeastern Pennsylvania, has the mail
contract and regular service by American, Colonial, Allegheny
Lines, TWA, and Trans-Continental.
Route No. 6
This highway begins at Milford, near the Delaware River,
comes over the Shohola Mountains, skirts the Wallenpaupack
Dam, goes into Hawley, then Honesdale and Carbondale to Scran-
ton. It comes into the circle at the end of Market Street and con-
tinues northwest to Clarks Summit, Tunkhannock and Waverly.
It is the main artery to Buffalo and the Great Lake District.
Route No. 61 1 (Drinker Turnpike)
This highway begins at Stroudsburg, comes northwest
through Mount Pocono and Dunmore into Scranton, ending here.
It comes down Green Ridge Street to Wyoming Avenue and so
into the heart of the city.
Route No. 1 1 (Lackawanna Trail)
This highway comes south from Binghamton, Nicholson and
Clarks Summit into Scranton. It comes into the circle, down
Market Street, North Main Avenue, Providence Road, Mulberry
Street, Adams Avenue, Cedar Avenue through Minooka, and
continues south to Wilkes-Barre and Harrisburg.
Route No. 307 (Morgan Highway and Moosic-Daleville Road)
This highway is a shortened road through Scranton that saves
traveling time for those transients on Route 611 and Route 6. It
starts just west of Clarks Summit comes into Keyser Avenue, con-
tinues to and down Market Street, North Main Avenue, Provi-
dence Road, Mulberry Street, Wyoming Avenue, East on Lacka-
wanna Avenue to Moosic Street and out passing Lake Scranton.
It ends just east of Dalevile where it joins Route 611.
The Northeastern Extension of the Philadelphia Turnpike
The Northeastern Extension of the Philadelphia Turnpike is
now under construction. It will speed transportation between
Philadelphia and New York State and the North and West of the
United States. It begins at Willow Grove outside of Philadelphia
and at the present time definite plans find it terminating at Clarks
Summit. Tentative plans include its extension to the Pennsylvania
State Line just south of Binghamton, N. Y.
Abbott, Philip _ — 15
Allen, Ethan 14
Allen, Horatio 30-31-32
Allsworth, William 22
Amusements (Early) 11
— Discovery of Anthracite Coal..26-27-28
— Early Users 27-28
— Existence in the Lackawanna
and "Wyoming Valleys 64
— History 63-64
— Making A Market 20
— Sizes 66
— The Breaker 65
— The Mining of Coal 65
"Dam Build Bee' 17
Deep Hollow 15
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western
Delaware and Hudson Canal and
Banking Company 20-23
Drinker, Henry 20
Duwain, James A 17
Early Business Ventures (1800-1840)
— Distillery 17-18
—Lumber Mill 17-18
— Sheep Raising 18
— The Iron Forge 18-21
Early Homes 11
Earliest Roads 10
— T-Strap Rail 23
Fell, Judge Jesse _ 20
Franklin, Colonel John 14
Geographic Features 54-55-56
— Council 41-44
— Line Departments
— School District 44-45
— Delaware and Hudson
— Pennsylvania Railroad 30
Harrison (Scranton) 24
Henry, William 21-24
Holmes, Enoch 14
Howe, John 16-17
Howe, Seth 16-17
Hyde Park 17-22-24
Indian Relics 10-11
— Dickson Manufacuring Company.... 26
— Iron Smelting 22
— Nail Factory 23
—Puddling Mill 23
— Scranton Silk Company 26
—The Cliff Works 26
— The Lackawanna Mills 26
Industries (1930-Present time)
— Capitol Records 26
— Consolidated Molded Products 26
Lackawanna County Court House 35
Lackawanna Iron Works 24-25
— Early Occupations 5-6
— Indian Crops 6
— Location 5
— Size 5
Locomotive Road 25
—Gold, Silver, Lead 33-34
— Teal, John 33
Names (Local) 34-35
Names (Vicinity) 36-37-38-39
News (Early) 11
Patterson, Justice Alexander 13
—Early Conflict 7-8-9
— First Pennamite War 12
— Second Pennamite War 12-13
— Third Pennamite War 14
— Treaty of Trenton 12
Pennsylvania Rangers 13
Philadelphia and Great Bend
Stage Coach 20
— Albright, Joseph J 50
— Bird, Caroline Weston 53
— Everhart, Isaiah F 51
— Johnson, Orlando S 49
— Scranton, Worthington 50
— Weston, Charles S 53
Pickering, Timothy 14
— Nationalities 21-41-56
— Razorville 14-15-16
— The Township 11-15
—The Village 19-24
Rixie's Gap (Carbondale) 20
School Plot 17
Scranton, George 22-25
Signal Tree 10
— Composition 5
— Conference with Pennamites 8
— Power 5-6
Slocum, Ebenezer 17
Slocum, Frances 17-32-33
Slocum Hollow 18-22-23
Stafford, John 16
Stourbridge Lion 25-30-31
Street Car Lines 35
Sullivan, General John 12
— Bargaining With the Indians 6
— Discovery of the Land 7
— Division of the Land 9
Taylor, Reuben 16
— Lackawanna River 18
Treaty of Trenton 12
Tripp, Isaac 9
Waderman, Daniel 14
— Purification 62-63
— Reforestation 45-60-61-62-63
Wyoming Massacre 12
Conflicting Claims of Pennsylvania
and Connecticut 4
Blast Furnaces 21
Lackawanna Iron and Steel
Puddling Mills 24
Highways and Reservoirs in the
Scranton Area 60
Scranton, Then and Now
(map) Center pages